Canadian Club Dock No. 57 Blackberry (Flavoured Whisky)
Review: Canadian Club Dock No. 57 Blackberry 74/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published June 25, 2013
It seems that flavour is the order of the day, and based upon the explosion of new spiced and flavoured whiskies which have hit the shelves here in Alberta, Canadian Club is not the only company to think so. Their Canadian Club Dock No. 57 Blackberry is just one of at least a dozen new spiced/flavoured Canadian whiskies which have been released in the last year. According to the Beam Global (the owners of the Canadian Club brand) press releases, their new Dock No. 57 brand
“… is poised to capitalize on recent growth trends in ready-to-drink and flavoured spirits that are giving Canadian whisky a boost and helping to open the door to new consumers – namely younger adults and women …”
The enthusiasm at Beam Global is high, and why not, as Dock No. 57 Blackberry is apparently produced by the infusion of blackberry flavour with the classic character of their own Canadian Club Whisky. And unlike many of the spiced and flavoured whiskies which have recently appeared on the landscape, the blackberry flavoured whisky is bottled at full strength (40 % alcohol by volume) ensuring that the full flavour of their Canadian Club whisky is maintained rather than being diluted.
In the Bottle 4/5
I like the bottle that I see. I think the labeling is strong, and I like the departure from the traditional round Canadian Club bottle to this new tall rectangular bottle. It is almost as if the bottle itself is saying,
“I’m different from your regular Canadian Club.”
Pity the bottle is topped with a metallic topper; a nice cork topper might have garnered a perfect score.
In the Glass 7/10
When I poured a little of the flavoured whisky into my glass, it displayed as an amber coloured spirit which gave up long moderately fat legs when I tilted and twirled my glass. The nose instantly reminds me of grape soda. There are also some hints of cinnamon as well as an effervescent spiciness. The sweetness combined with the effervescence seems to give the aroma more indications of cough syrup than of whisky. I cannot help but feel disappointed.
In the Mouth 45/60
The whisky is thickened, and feels like syrup upon my tongue. The flavour is very reminiscent grape soda pop, but with strong undercurrents of menthol and ginger spice. As a straight up sipper, I just don’t see the appeal at all, but as a mixing agent in a cocktail which calls for some sort of Blackberry syrup I may be able to put this to good use.
I did a few experimental runs, adding the flavoured whisky to ginger-ale and cola, but each time the resulting bar drink was too candy-like to work as a relaxing high ball. I tried again and this time added one part flavoured whisky to two parts regular whisky and then added the cola, and this time the drink worked quite well. I think I will be more inclined to use the Dock No. 57 Blackberry to dress up a cocktail, rather than as the main ingredient. (See suggested recipe below)
In the Throat 11/15
On the positive side, there is a nice lingering ginger spice left upon the palate after swallowing. On the negative side, the flavoured whisky still reminds me of cough syrup.
The Afterburn 7/10
The only comparable to the Dock No. 57 Blackberry that I can relate this spirit to is Jim Beam’s Red Stag Black Cherry Flavoured Bourbon also from Beam Global. Comparing the two side by side I prefer the Red Stag which seems to retain much more of its whiskey character than the Canadian Club Dock No. 57 Blackberry Whisky. (I had a hard time finding any whisky character under the blackberry syrup when I sampled the Dock No. 57 Blackberry.)
I think my score of 74/100 is about right for a spirit which has some useful characteristics as a mixing agent.
You may read some of my other reviews of Liqueurs and Flavoured Spirits (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
Black Cherry Buckeroo
1 1/2 ounce Canadian Club Whisky
1/2 Canadian Club Dock No. 57 Blackberry Whisky
dash Angostura Bitters
Slice of Lime for garnish
Build in a tall glass with ice
Complete with Cola
Garnish with a lime slice
Please Enjoy Responsibly!
I am sometimes asked what my numbers actually mean. In order to provide clarification, you may (loosely) interpret the scores as follows.
0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.
Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:
70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)